Monday, December 31, 2018

The hope of a more responsible humanity
for a more sustainable future

Our wishes to all for a geoethical 2019!

Stay tuned in the next year...:


IAPG - International Association for Promoting Geoethics

Thursday, December 20, 2018

IAPG at the
Earth Science Cultural Fair in Pakistan

Great news from IAPG-Pakistan!

The Department of Geology, Abdul Wali Khan University Mardan (Pakistan) has arranged a full day "Earth-Science and Cultural Fair 2018" on 27th December. This event is open to the entire geological community in Pakistan and this year about twelve thousand students are expected.

IAPG-Pakistan has its open stall at the event and the following activities are planned:

  • presentation about the IAPG organization;
  • distribution of leaflets about IAPG activities;
  • organization of an interactive session with students about IAPG-Pakistan progress and plans;
  • information about the IAPG membership.

Congratulations to IAPG-Pakistan and its coordinators Muhammad Yaseen and Emad Ullah Khan!


IAPG - International Association for Promoting Geoethics

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Developing a charter for geoethics education:
Results from an interactive poster
for the IAPG at the EGU 2018

David Crookall
(Université Côte d’Azur, France; IAPG-France co-coordinator)

Pariphat Promduangsri

(Lycée Renoir, France)

David Crookall
Do you think that paying greater attention to ethics will give planet Earth and its inhabitants a greater chance of reaching sustainability?  Do you think that geo-scientists still have room to improve their ethics and to help humanity to become more ethical?  Do you think that including ethics in all areas of education will better equip people to behave in a manner that is more respectful of each other and of Earth and its resources?

Pariphat Promduangsri
That is part of the invaluable work being carried out by the IAPG, "a multidisciplinary, scientific platform for widening the discussion and creating awareness about problems of Ethics applied to the Geosciences" ( In 2016, the IAPG drew up an important declaration, titled Cape Town Statement on Geoethics ( These efforts have been spearheaded with incredible energy by Silvia Peppoloni, Co-founder and Secretary General of the IAPG, and supported by a group of like-minded scientists. Their inspiring mission, vision and energy have drawn us their sessions at the EGU over the last few years.

Thus, in April 2018, we had the wonderful opportunity of participating in the IAPG session called Geoethics: Ethical, social and cultural implications of geoscience knowledge, education, communication, research, and practice at the EGU General Assembly 2018. It was convened by Silvia Peppoloni, Nic Bilham, Giuseppe Di Capua, Martin Bohle, and Eduardo Marone. We presented two interactive posters, both focused on learning about geoethics.  The one that is relevant here is titled Geo-edu-ethics: Learning ethics for the Earth. We prepared an interactive, participatory poster; it is one that invites viewers to interact actively as participants. They do something more active than simply reading.  Usually they will write or make marks on the poster – see photos here, taken during the EGU General Assembly 2018.
Our abstract for the conference poster contains the following paragraphs among others:

... Ethics is becoming ever more important, not least in the geo-sciences, particularly under the impetus of the IAPG.  …
In 2016, one of the authors coined the term eduethics.  …  The term intends to convey the fact that education is inconceivable without ethics (and ethics impossible without education). …
What can we do to encourage more ethical behaviour towards the Earth and the life it supports, and thus to combat impending disaster?
The only viable answer is through geoethical education. We need people to learn, and grow up learning, about what is right and wrong in regard to each aspect of our personal earth citizen lives.

The objective of the poster session was to begin a process of thinking about how to "move towards implementing education programmes that encourage ethically sound behaviour individually and collectively, and do it before it is too late …"

Our unmarked poster contained some initial ideas for participants (readers). We invited participants to contribute their own ideas in blank spaces and thus start the development of a charter for geoethics in education. We call it geo-edu-ethics – learning ethics for the Earth. Our aim therefore was to start a collective contribution to the process of developing a charter. Our format allows people to say what they want without fear of disapproval. The written format gives people time to think and provides for a record of the full proceedings.

The participants contributed some wonderful ideas, as well as some useful critical comments – thus beginning a debate on these crucial issues.  We think that it is important that this discussion be recorded, thus making it inclusive for those who wish to join the conversation. It should also help us to better grasp the range of geoethics issues in general and geo-edu-ethics in particular.

This article therefore constitutes stage two of a draft charter. Over time, we hope to arrive at a charter that is realistic, garners general agreement, has sufficient clout to make a difference, and agrees with the IAPG Cape Town Statement on Geoethics. We recall the couplet, often attributed to Goethe and quoted by William H Murray (1913-1996), in his 1951 book "The Scottish Himalayan Expedition":

Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now.

Thus, our poster participants and us have begun our journey on the road to a geo-edu-ethics charter, and hope that you will join in. Our progress so far is recorded below.

We provide our original texts in black, under the broad headings used in the poster, followed by participants’ unedited contributions in red. Participants wrote their comments in a space opposite our original idea. Some comments were directly related to our original texts, while others had a more cursory link. We found it difficult to read some comments, but in the interest of authenticity, we decided to include them all. If we had designed our poster differently, it might have been easier to follow the thread.

Geoethics test for people in positions of authority

All holders of public office (civil servants, politicians, research institute directors, hospital directors, armed forces directors) and all people in positions of responsibility (doctors, charity directors, company directors, managers, etc.) must pass a test of geoethics (test level according to position level).

Participants' contributions:

1. Being a geoscience educator is a privilege.
2. The physical, intellectual, and psychological care of our students and colleagues is our responsibility.
3. Care will be exerted to clearly differentiate opinions, assertions, untested and tested/ not falsified hypotheses.
4. All quantitative data and results will be reported with appropriate uncertainties and significant figures.
5. All people (engaged in the educational process or otherwise) will be treated with respect.
6. Credit will always be given to the originators of the data and ideas you use in science.
7. Geoscience educators have to contribute to a knowledgeable society and to build a vision of the world we want while respecting natural dynamics.
8. A geoscience educator has to be coherent. Act as you say that should be done.
9. (Geo)scientist should again be public service "agents" - spread their knowledge and educate the populace so that positive change is possible.
10. I don't think this is the way to go.
11. I have seen the effects of forming people to do such things – they resent it and won't internalize it.
12. It would be better to build it softly with the performance appraisal process and find a way of making it part of existing ‘official expectations'.
13. A charter is half of the COL [sic, or COI], but [?] it is not a coef. [Difficult to read.]

Charter elements, precepts, guidelines

Every educational establishment (all levels: primary, secondary, tertiary, training) must include geoethics elements in all courses in all its programmes.

Every educational authority (ministry, academy, …) must make sure that establishments follow geoethical guidelines.

All establishments must be given the means (funding & personnel) to train its teachers and trainers in ethical curriculum, syllabus, & materials design, and in ethical facilitation and debriefing techniques.

Participants' contributions:

14. (I suggest replacing "must" with "should" in all of the bullet pts.)
15. Note that just as ethics is at the core of science (which is the best way of discovering reliable information about the physical world), so too is ethics at the core of geoscience education.
16. Mutual respect is essential to all student-teacher, student-student, and teacher-teacher interactions.
17. I tried to make this happen, but so far my attempts have failed (lack of interest, bureaucracy of institutions).
18. After all was said and done, much more was said than done.
19. As a consequence, risk communication and social aspects related to earth education must be taught and they should be included in training curricula!
20. It may be possible to achieve this at least partly through local community (e.g. faculty, teaching staff, employees) effort.
21. You may need to call in experts at times.
22. i)  Geoethics......geosgcky [sic], see poster X1.3.
23. ii)  Embedding in science ped.[sic] lecture/class.

Edu-geo-ethical repository

A world-wide repository (or multi-media library) of pedagogical materials must be set up, and made available for free to all teachers round the world.

  • Pedagogical materials encompass a wide range of items, such as: curricula, syllabi, quizes, teaching notes, guides for class excursions, simulations+debriefing, role-plays+debriefing, games+debriefing, case studies, etc.
  • Subjects (eg, maths, languages, physics, literature, social studies, economics, business & management, teamwork, job interviews) should have guides, at each level, on how to implement geo-ethical principles in courses).
  • The repository may be called Bank for Edu-geo-ethical materials – BEGEM, or something similar.
  • The repository must be open access.
  • All existing materials must be deposited into this depository.
  • All users of the materials are expected to provide feedback on materials used.
  • Time-off and conference support must be given to all who wish to develop materials.
  • Credit must be given to all depositors & evaluators of materials. No anonymity.

Participants' contributions

24. I suggest you look at Dave Mogk's contributions online at
25. The Science Education Resource Center (SERC) is an existing repository that might work for this project.
26. The IAPG website is always at disposal to collect online materials:
27. Academic integrity – Plagiarism, etc.  Why and how to avoid.
28. Look for teaching kit for W African schools about the ecosystem approach to fisheries done by Mundus Maris for FAO.  Look for project 2011 go to last page with downloadable stuff teaching kit, fish rules, eval sheets, etc. In EN & FR.
29. Good idea. Who will "bell the cat"?
30. This will run into unavoidable bureaucratic hurdles. It will be better to do this informally "under the table".

Geo-edu-ethics in council, curricula programmes

  • An international body, Council for Geo-Ethical-Education (CGEE), under the joint auspices of the IAPG and UNESCO, should be created to oversee implementation of the geo-edu-ethics charter. 
  • SDG 4: Ensure inclusive and quality education for all and promote lifelong learning must operate under and include solid geo-ethical principles.
  • All new curricula, syllabi, edu programmes, and edu materials must follow principles enshrined in the charter, and be guided and approved by the CGEE.
  • All educational programmes (exchanges, internships, diplomas, institutions, holiday camps, etc) must follow principles enshrined in the charter, and be guided and approved by the CGEE.

Participants' contributions

31. The purpose of this is not to control or constrain information to be taught in geoscience courses, but rather to facilitate the broadest availability of high-quality geo-ed-ethics content.
32. My experience is that such high-level bodies are generally not effective.  Risk of failure is very high.
33. IAPG's Geoethical Because [sic] is an [sic] useful puishung [sic] document.
34. IAPG could lead this initiative towards UNESCO.
35. Spread all (no conflict of interest] scientiofioc [sic] facts to be public. Be an educator and advocate of science for people. Be meual [sic] or better only pro Earth.
36. We cannot modify SDG 4, but yes contribute to it.
37. The bureaucracy would kill the initiative. This won't work in practice for good sociological and psychological reasons.

In this poster, we got excellent feedback from participants. Most of the comments were encouraging. Of course, we also got a few mild naysayers. However, the world will be driven by people who are bold and ready to act in a positive manner.

We hope that you will continue this discussion with new suggestions. In order to do that, please send your ideas and comments to Pariphat at this email We will incorporate them into a new draft. We may even present an updated poster at the IAPG session 5.2 on geoethics at the EGU 2019. Please indicate if you wish your comments to be anonymous or if you wish us to indicate authorship.

Our warm thanks go to Mona Jensen, Copywriter at, Denmark, for some marvelous suggestions for improving this post.


David Crookall is an experiential learning expert in Earth and environmental sciences, sustainability, climate change. He also works in editing, debriefing, simulation, role-play and publication, and has published widely and presented at many conferences. He is now retired from the Université Côte d'Azur, France.  He has lived in five countries on three continents. Please join him here:

Pariphat Promduangsri is a science baccalaureate student at Auguste Renoir high school in Cagnes-sur-mer, France. Her native country is Thailand. She has lived in France for nearly four years. She speaks English, French, Italian and Thai. When she is not studying or climbing mountains (she has already done most of the Tour du Mont Blanc), she likes playing the piano. Later she will probably persue a career taking care of the environment and the Earth. Please join her here:

Other articles published in the IAPG Blog:

IAPG - International Association for Promoting Geoethics

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

IAPG is partner of the
AGU Ethics & Equity Center

The AGU Ethics and Equity Center provides resources to educate, promote and ensure responsible scientific conduct and establish tools, practices, and data for organizations to foster a positive work climate in science. The Center can help you meet your ethics goals, whether you are an individual scientist looking for resources or professional ethics development, a leader looking to implement best practices at your organization, or an institution wanting to update your code of conduct. The Center is led by the American Geophysical Union (AGU).
The International Association for Promoting Geoethics (IAPG) is partner of the AGU Ethics and Equity Center.

The AGU Ethics and Equity Center advances workplace excellence by providing access to educational tools and resources to help scientists at all career levels and institutions of all sizes. The Center offers resources in the following areas related to ethics and equity in science:

  • Leadership Practices
  • Research Ethics
  • Workplace Climate

Website of the AGU Ethics & Equity Center:

IAPG - International Association for Promoting Geoethics:

Saturday, December 8, 2018

IAPG session on Geoethics at the
AGU Fall Meeting 2018

The programme is out!

Session ED13D (Posters):
Geoethics: Taking a Stand for Ethical Geoscience Research, Education, Communication, and Practice

Date, Hours, and Venue:
10 December 2018, 13:40 - 18:00, Walter E Washington Convention Center - Hall A-C (Poster Hall). 

Cindy Palinkas (primary convener; IAPG-USA co-chair), Vincent S. Cronin (IAPG-USA co-chair), Silvia Peppoloni (IAPG Secretary General), Chris Keane (AGI)

Sponsored by:
IAPG - International Association for Promoting Geoethics & AGI - American Geosciences Institute​

There is a clear need to develop ethical frameworks within which geoscientists can conduct their research, professional, education, and outreach activities. Geoethics deals with the ethical, social and cultural implications of geoscience research and practice, and so provides these frameworks in a variety of settings. For example, as scholars and experts in earth sciences, geoscientists are required to conduct research responsibly and to inform society of potential geological hazards and possible sustainable resources. As educators, they should train students in ethical practices. In all activities, they should exemplify ethical behaviors and attitudes as they interact with colleagues and students in the work environment (including offices, classrooms, labs, and the field) and seek to increase diversity and inclusion. The goal of this session is to discuss these frameworks, considering both theoretical and practical aspects. We invite contributions focusing on the ethical aspects of geoscience research, practice and education, including case studies.


Ethics of Nuclear Winter and Climate Intervention (Geoengineering) Research and of Making Policy Recommendations (by Alan Robock)

How Ethical Violations Undermine the Integrity of Science: Analysis of a Prominent Case from the Geosciences (by Sadredin C Moosavi)

Need For Academic Professional Ethics Training To Prepare Candidates To Take The National Association Of State Boards Of Geology (ASBOG®) National Licensing Examinations (by John W Williams and Randy Kath)

On the Fundamentals of Geoethics (by Vincent S. Cronin)

Geoethics in Every Geoscience Classroom: It is About Time! (by John W Geissman)

Scientific integrity and ethical challenges in current US federal policy: Where do we go from here? (by Gretchen T. Goldman, Jacob Matthew Carter, and Genna Reed)

Teacher experiences, views and proposals: first results from a questionnaire developed in the frame of ENVRIPLUS project (by Giuliana D'Addezio)
Teaching Ethics and Multicultural Norms in Geosciences (by Linda Battalora and Manika Prasad)

Teaching Geoethics at Universidad de Chile: Impacts Within and Beyond the Classroom (by Luisa Pinto, Ignacio Escudero, Pablo Ramirez, Tania G. Villaseñor, and Millarca Valenzuela)

Read the programme in the AGU Fall Meeting 2018 website:

IAPG - International Association for Promoting Geoethics:

Friday, December 7, 2018


The I-GEMA - Instituto de Geociencias Y Medio Ambiente (Institute of Geosciences and Environment) and the IAPG signed a Memorandum of Agreement on 1 December 2018.

The aim of the memorandum of agreement (MoA) is to develop a coordinated approach, where appropriate, for promoting initiatives and events discussing the ethical, social, and cultural implications of geosciences, and favoring high ethical standards in the research and practice of geoscience in order to better serve society.

The MoA helps to assure a continued IAPG – I-GEMA cooperation and coordination on issues of common interests, in particular, the following:

  • promotion of principles of ethics, research integrity, and professional ethical deontology in geoscientific activities among their networks;
  • definition of ethical issues, with accompanying case-studies, where appropriate, affecting the geoscientific community and organizations;
  • co-organization of scientific events to disseminate concepts of ethics in Geoscience, among both the professional and research communities, with particular attention to young geoscientists;
  • production of relevant publications and communications.

Finally, as indicated in the MoA, I-GEMA supports the Cape Town Statement on Geoethics, by recognizing officially its values and goals.

I-GEMA ( is a non-profit scientific and academic institution duly registered and recognized by the public authorities of Peru and whose general objectives are:

  • Promoting development and research in Geosciences and related areas within the framework of Geoethics, sustainable development and responsibility social, with quality and commitment, in a multidisciplinary, integrating and dynamic way. In this perspective, I-GEMA is promoting Geoparks and Geotourism in Peru within the framework of UNESCO's requirements.
  • Promoting training, awareness of sustainable development of the Mining - Energy sector and its importance in economic development and employment generation in Peru.
  • Conducting academic, educational programs and events, in universities and schools such as: Congresses, Conventions, Forums, Workshops, Seminars, Talks, Field Schools.
  • Carrying out specialized research Projects and teaching activities in the field of Geosciences, which contemplate their development and application to problems of Peruvian interest and the training of human resources in specific areas.

Read more about IAPG affiliations and agreements:

IAPG - International Association for Promoting Geoethics:

Thursday, November 22, 2018

An article just published in Advances in Geosciences (open-access)

"Ethical recommendations for ocean observation"

(by Michèle Barbier, Anja Reitz, Katsiaryna Pabortsava, Anne-Cathrin Wölfl, Tobias Hahn, and Fred Whoriskey)

The United Nations proclaimed a decade of marine science for sustainable development (2021–2030) to develop a common framework that will ensure that ocean science can fully support countries in achieving the goal of sustainable development. Marine scientific understanding is fundamental to managing human activities that affect this environment, and ocean observations have a particularly important role in enhancing the knowledge base of our oceans. With this important task, scientists have the responsibility to act in an ethical way and apply all the fundamental principles described in the Cape Town statement: (a) ethical values, (b) social values and (c) cultural values (Peppoloni and Di Capua, 2017). This article is a fist attempt to highlight the core values applicable to ocean observation, which can then be improved and adopted as part of geoethics and the stewardship of the Earth system. It opens up avenues for reflection on geoethical implications in the field of ocean observation and suggests nine key principles that marine scientists could follow in their innovative research regarding open access to data, effectiveness, compliance with laws, environmental respect and nature conservation, reciprocal relation and cultural respect, equity and fairness, knowledge transfer, governance adapted to socio-ecological systems, and the use of animals in research.

Barbier M., Reitz A., Pabortsava K., Wölfl A.-C., Hahn T., and Whoriskey F. (2018). Ethical recommendations for ocean observation. Advances in Geosciences, 45, 343–361, doi: 10.5194/adgeo-45-343-2018

Free Download:

Other publications on geoethics in the IAPG website:

IAPG - International Association for Promoting Geoethics:

Picture credit:

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Teaching Geoethics
as a Form of Eco-political Resistance

Francesc Bellaubi
(PhD Natural Sciences, IAPG member)

Francesc Bellaubi

From the outside, however, it seems that everything is in order. The pupils make gestures as if they were pupils seen by the teachers. They wear the proper uniforms, stand in line according to school regulations, submit to a ritual. The main effect of education through castigation is that people “dance” to the ritual and do it with a certain degree of skill. In this way an old truth confirms itself – the one who wants to achieve too much does not achieve anything. (Tischner, 2005).

In the words of the Iranian-American philosopher S. H. Nasr (1997) "the environmental crisis is fundamentally a crisis of values." Environmental sustainability cannot be widely achieved in the absence of social justice (Goodwin, 2003). Equity and equality that forge the concept of justice as fairness (Rawls, 1971) are not value-neutral (Goodwin, 2003) and are deeply rooted in the political and economic ideologies of the status quo. 

Environmental sustainability goes hand to hand with human rights as both point out the current political and economic status quo as the main cause for existing inequity and inequality in the human-human/human-nature(1) relationships. Historically, "green-environmental" movements and human rights activism have failed in finding a common pathAlthough under an anthropocentric vision, progress against the deeper structures of oppression and environmental exploitation could only be made when the movements recognized their connections (Cone, cited in Spencer, 2008).

Achieving solutions must tackle environmental literacy not only in achieving better educated citizens, private sector entrepreneurs, and politicians in specific topics but also in revisiting values and norms in politically contested decision making (Goodwin, 2003) for ecological justice(2)

A values-based pedagogic approach

The current political and economic status quo is sustained by the existing educational paradigm (Robinson, n.d.) and as long as the current Technopoly (Postman, 1993) development paradigm keeps seeing nature as a resource to exploit, human rights inequities will remain. Current education systems enhance the belief technology is the solution to environmental-human challenges regardless of the values behind technological development. However, even a change in production technology will not be sufficient to achieve sustainability (Daly, 1987).

On the other hand, transparency accountability and participation that are considered key in enhancing governance fail short in addressing inequity issues. Instead, credibility is to be considered one of the most important soft skills in the generations to come (Bellaubi and Pahl-Wostl, 2017).

The anthropocene pushes for a further understanding of values-oriented solutions. Therefore, as Martin Luther King (1967) said, we must call for "a radical revolution of values" shifting from a ‘thing-oriented’ society to a ‘nature-oriented’ society.

"What is the added-created value of a pedagogy of geoethics as a form of political resistance for ecological justice challenging the current Technopoly paradigm?"

Education plays a key role in pointing out paradigm failures and paving the way for change (Dewey, 2001). In his turn, Freire (1970) points out pedagogy as being a clear political and social purpose liberating the oppressed. Furthermore, Postman (1993) defines teaching as a subversive activity. 

The term pedagogy encompasses the act of teaching to learn to think as a self-liberating and consciousness process based on the concept of critical pedagogy. Pedagogy as an action contributes to sustainable learning establishing communities of practices (Pahl-Wostl et al., 2007) where, if degrees of ecological justice are achieved, need to be seen within the influences played by ecological movements and communities of practice. The concept of geoethics refers to the "... research and reflection on the values which underpin appropriate behaviors and practices, wherever human activities interact with the geosphere" (Peppoloni and Di Capua, 2015).

The term political resistance is understood as the hope brought into the pedagogic process as a created value (Makiguchi, cited in Kumagai, 2000) considering not only the formal education teacher-student relationship but also the accompanying relationships (advice and extension) outside the formal education (e.g. in communities of practice), as a struggle for faithfulness/credible relations (Human-Nature). This faithfulness/credible relation is reached when the Human takes full consciousness of Nature as being part of it(3), in a sense of belonging one to another. Therefore, pedagogy has a moral and humanistic sense (Tolstoy, cited in Yegorov 1999). However, values are rooted in different beliefs and ideologies(4) that interact with history-story territorial identities as human-nature relationship constructs, and manifested through cultural and folkloric expressions in the duality power-space over time (territories as spaces of power but also the power of the space(5)

The added-created value of pedagogy

Exploring the value-creating pedagogy of geoethics to challenge the Technopoly paradigm means to take into consideration the created cultural capital as an individual factor and also that of solidarity as a social variable that makes individuals part of a community in the sense of voluntary engagement towards the Others (humans and non-humans or Nature). Another concept of importance is social cohesion related to the social gains/cost in the relationships with the Others.

The cultural capital as a power to influence change is not only based on knowledge and capacities that largely have failed in addressing behavioral change but on attitude that defines credibility levels. Attitude is key in boosting credibility working in two complementary directions: integrity and ethics that shape our moral judgments between what we believe and how we behave. There is extensive research-advocacy on integrity issues but more needs to be done on ethics. In this sense, game theory and, specifically, understanding ecological moral dilemmas through agent based modelling (ABM) can help us to improve how teaching geoethics influences moral judgment. 

In its turn, solidarity has been largely forgotten in the discussion about ethics. Rather than a concept or theory, solidarity remains an idea that, in contrast to a theory or concept, does not need justification but justifies itself (Tischner, 2005). Tischner talks about the ethics of solidarity as the ethics of the conscience but this idea does not need to be kept in the individual sphere but be enlarged as a social-natural phenomenon bounded to politics, an ethics of social conscience.


Bellaubi F. and Pahl-Wostl C. (2017). Corruption risks, management practices, and performance in water service delivery in Kenya and Ghana: an agent-based model. Ecology and Society, 22(2), 6.

Daly H.E. (1987). The Economic Growth Debate: What Some Economists Have Learned But Many Have Not. Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, 14, 323-336.

Dewey J. (2001). Education and social change. In F. Schultz (Ed.), SOURCES: Notable selections in education (3rd ed.) (pp. 333-341). New York: McGraw Hill Dushkin.

Freire P. (1970). Pedagogy of the oppressed. New York, NY: The Continuum International Publishing Group Inc.

Goodwin N.R. (2003). International Society for Ecological Economics. Internet Encyclopaedia of Ecological Economics Equity, February 2003. Retrieved 20 May 2018 from

King Jr M.L. (1967). Text of speech by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on the Vietnam War. Retrieved 15 July 2018 from

Kortetmäki T. (2017). Justice in and to Nature: An Application of the Broad Framework of Environmental and Ecological Justice. Academic dissertation, the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences of the University of Jyväskylä, Finland.

Kumagai K. (2000). Value-creating pedagogy and Japanese education in the modern era, In: Ideas and influence of Tsunesaburo Makiguchi, Special issue of The Journal of Oriental Studies, (10, pp. 29-45). Tokyo, The Institute of Oriental Philosophy.

Levit G.S. (2000). Biosphere and the Noosphere Theories of V.I. Vernadsky and P. Teilhard De Chardin: A Methodological Essay. Academe Internationale D'histoire Des Sciences, 50(144), 160-177.

Nasr S.H. (1997). Man and nature. Chicago: ABC International Group, Inc.

Pahl-Wostl C. et al. (2007). The importance of social learning and culture for sustainable water management, Ecological Economics. doi:10.1016/j.ecolecon.2007.08.007.

Peppoloni S. and Di Capua G. (2015). The Meaning of Geoethics. In: M. Wyss and S. Peppoloni (Eds.), Geoethics: Ethical Challenges and Case Studies in Earth Science. Waltham, MA, USA: Elsevier, pp. 3–14. ISBN 978-0-12-799935-7.

Postman N. (1993). Technopoly the surrender of culture to technology. New York: Vintage Books.

Rawls J. (1971). A Theory of Justice. USA: Harvard University Press.

Robinson K. (n.d.). Retrieved 05 June 2018 from :

Spencer M.L. (2008). Environmental Racism and Black Theology: James H. Cone Instructs Us on Whiteness. 5 U. St. Thomas L.J. pp. 288-311.

Tàbara J.D. and Pahl-Wostl C. (2007). Sustainability learning in natural resource use and management. Ecology and Society, 12(2), 3. Retrieved 15 May 2018 from

Tischner J. (2005). Selected by Dobrosław Kot from Etyka solidarności [The Ethics of Solidarity], Kraków.

Yegorov, S. F. (1999). Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910). Prospects: The quarterly review of comparative education, XXIV(3/4), 647–60.

Žižek, S. (1989). The Sublime Object of Ideology. London: Verso.


(1): In the sense non-human nature.
(2): The author suggests the use of ecological justice (Naess, cited in Kortetmäki, 2017).
(3)Here it would be interesting to revisit the concept of noosphere of V.I.Vernadsky and P. Teilhard de Chardin (Levit, 2000).
(4): Ideology is understood as an imaginary of spiritual ideas that unfold in an array of multiple values in the perception of the World exercising a political influences on historic territorial identities as power of spaces and spaces of power (author, based on Žižek, 1989).
(5): Culture can be understood as a set of perceptual abilities, norms, values and frames, which are typical modes of acting that characterize specific groups and that are enacted in social practices. Tàbara and Pahl-Wostl (2007) defined the conceptual and methodological approach of cultural framework analysis as a coherent system of reference elements relative to the way of recognizing, rationalizing, evaluating and prescribing given phenomena of social (or socio-environmental) reality in such a way that they become significant and memorable for the different social actors at stake.

Other articles published in the IAPG Blog:

IAPG - International Association for Promoting Geoethics

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Geoethics at the
Earth System Governance Conference 2018

(by Martin Bohle, IAPG Board of Experts)

The Earth System Governance project is a ten-year-old global project and network of mainly and social and political scientists; interfaces of their interests with geoethics are many. Their annual gathering, open to third parties, took place in Utrecht (5-8 November) in the Netherlands. About 400 people gathered there, among them Martin Bohle (IAPG Board of Experts), who  together with Cornelia E. Nauen (speaker, Mundus Maris) and Eduardo Marone (IAPG-Brazil coordinator) made a contribution  to a panel on "ocean governance". Their paper “Not out of the blue: Ethics to Intersect Civic Participation and Formal Guidance” (below the link to download slides) draws also on geoethics. They argue that ethical frameworks (such as geoethics), civic participation and formalized guidance are features of socio-ecological systems, which support each other and that, togeher are essential for the governability of building the human niche.

The ESG2018 contribution borrows concepts from various lines of scholarly inquiry. To introduce them: the concept ‘socio-ecological systems’ refers to the combination of natural process, technological artefacts and human practices (e.g. techno-commercial operations) that set the environments in which people live. Examples are multiple, such as urban areas or small-scale fishery or seabed mining; the essay uses the latter two examples. The notion ‘niche building’ summarizes the physical and mental processes by which people shape technological artifacts, their operational practices as well how these artefacts intersect natural environments. The notion ‘governability’ refers to features that determine how governance structures may function; for example, using normative guidance and participation of people (civic participation). The former may take, for example, the form of an ethical framework, or formalized guidance for people’s practices. Likewise, civic participation tales various forms. The notion ‘blue economy’ is a term on the political agenda to label the development of ‘socio-ecological systems’ in the marine environment, essentially going well beyond fishing and shipping. The ‘blue’ techno-commercial operations in the marine environment, for which small-scale fisheries and seabed mining are examples of socio-ecological systems that are used in this essay, are embedded into global supply-chains and are subject to multi-level regulation/management. These features make them ‘complex-adaptive’ (or ‘wicked’). Hence, agents in these systems face a ‘wicked game’. People (or human agent, stakeholder) and institutions (or governments, governance arrangements) shape complex-adaptive socio-ecological systems through their practices on how to design production systems and consumption patterns, including justification of the related design choices. People act (or react) being an intrinsic part of these systems and patterns. Yet, people (and institutions) also do experience the same systems and patterns as constraining them, including constraints which they may perceive as counter-intuitive. Hence when shaping the ‘human niche’, people and institutions are entangled in a process on how to make sense of their own activities and provide, by the sense-making process, an essential feedback loop within the ‘human niche’. It is within the sense-making that geoethics has its essential role.

Download slides:

ESG 2018 website:


IAPG - International Association for Promoting Geoethics: